East Yard Youth Advocate for Bicycle Infrastructure

IMG_0917In the rain and on the road, East Yard youth members rode their bikes for 16+ miles in order to be part of the decision-making process for a project happening in their community: the I-710 Corridor Project.

The I-710 Corridor Project is the largest infrastructure project in the nation. Currently, there are up to 260,000 cars and over 40,000 diesel trucks traveling on the I-710 daily. Members of Youth in Action met at Bell Gardens High School and rode along the LA River trail to Progress Park in Paramount, where the first I-710 Project Committee (PC) meeting of the year was being held.

Bikes are the primary form of transportation for many youth living along the corridor, yet a lack of bike paths makes it a difficult experience. East Yard youth attended the PC meeting in order to advocate for the community benefits of the Community Alternative 7, which include improvements to pedestrian and bicycle infrastructures along the I-710 Corridor.

At the meeting, the youth spoke to the PC about the need to make the I-710 freeway safer and healthier for the people using it for transportation as well as for the communities living alongside it. The youth mentioned that expanding the freeway would mean more traffic, which would negatively impact the local air quality. An expansion would also mean displacing families living alongside the freeway.

Metro presented the PC members with changes to the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), including the reintroduction of Alternative 5C and an updated Traffic Analysis. PC members expressed that a Zero Emission Freight Corridor needs to be included in order to get us closer to meeting the Diesel Particulate Matter and NOx federal standards.

East Yard Youth plan on riding their bikes to the next Project Committee (PC) meeting, which has not been scheduled. For more information about upcoming meetings regarding the I-710 Corridor project, please visit: http://www.metro.net/projects/i-710-corridor-project/